Last Sunday, I played another practice match with my new football club. I had previously played this team with the Mitchell Rangers, so it was a teeny weeny bit overwhelming for me to be there again but not have the ladies with me for support. However, I tried not to let that get to me and just focused on the game ahead. It didn’t matter who I was playing with or against, I knew this match was going to be important for me; I had to prove to both coaches that I was serious about the season.
We play in a 4-3-3 structure opposed to a 4-4-2 structure like I was used to with Rangers. This means we have a defensive/back line of 4 players, a midfield of 3 players and a striking/attacking line of 3 players. In the old structure (4-4-2), I would play in the midfield line, out on the right or in the centre, however because of a re-structure to 4-3-3, I now play in the attacking line, out on the right. This role suits me better I believe (I’ll be honest) because I have a fair bit of pace and can generally get on to runs of the ball quicker than the opposing team marking me and I naturally attack better than defend.
I started a little flat. I am not quite used to playing with a new team just yet and due to game time structures, haven’t played a full game. About 20 minutes in, a through ball came in to the front post and I sprinted to hit the target. I took a touch and the keeper was coming at me, full steam ahead. I hit the ball across goal, looking for an open and clear back post. This is where my stomach was in my mouth. The ball hit the back post, about half way up. Half my luck I thought until it came screaming back towards the front post. I almost wanted to close my eyes! It clipped the front post on the inside and ricocheted into the net. Relief flooded my body and I had done it. I OPENED THE SCORE. 1-0.
About 5 minutes later, the exact ball happened again. A through ball to the front post and I found myself one on one with the keeper again. I hit it, aiming for the front post this time and she dived but missed. I didn’t hold my reaction in as much this time, yelling “YES!” and fist pumping the air! HAH! 2-0.
I probably played another ten minutes in that half and then got subbed off, only to see my bestie, Louise and her dad there, watching me! I had sent her and another friend of mine a message saying I was playing. Louise had said there was a slight chance she could come but my other friend was busy. I hadn’t counted on anyone turning up but seeing Lou just make my day so much better. The fact that she’d taken time out of her own day to watch me meant so much. 🙂
The second half commenced and I played hard with a few good passages of play but I didn’t score again. My team ended up winning 7 goals to 1, with my brace opening the score. The head coach was happy with my performance and said I was making excellent runs. I was moulding into the position better as the game ticked along and frankly, I was pretty proud of myself.
Yesterday, I had training and was I feeling the game in my legs. My hamstrings were tight and sore but I still felt good because some of the girls that didn’t play on Sunday came up to me and congratulated me for my goals. I must have played alright though because I got to train with the senior squad! SAYY WHHAAAA!!! That made me pretty happy but I must be honest, it was a little daunting. The girls in the team are so nice though, so slowly, I am getting more confident to talk up.
We have another match tomorrow at home, so I am hoping I put in another decent effort and this is the start of a ripper season.